President Trump Holds News Conference on Coronavirus CSPAN February 26, 2020 8:06pm-9:05pm EST
during this election season, the candidates beyond the talking points are only revealed over time. since you can't be everywhere, there is c-span. our programming differs from all other political coverage for one simple reason. we have brought you are view of government since 1979. looking at thee people who want to steer that government. see the biggest picture for yourself. make up your own mind. >> president trump gives an update on the coronavirus.
a number of people were wounded, some badly wounded. our hearts break for them and our loved ones. we send our condolences and it's a terrible thing. terrible thing. so our hearts go out to the people of wisconsin and to the families. thank you very much. i have just received another briefing from a great group of talented people on the virus that is going round to various parts of the world. we have from early decisions, decisions that were ridiculed at the beginning. we closed up our borders from flights coming in from certain areas, areas that were hit by the coronavirus and hit pretty hard and we did it very early. a lot of people didn't think we should do it early and we did. and it is a good thing. the importance is the health and safety of american people and that's the way i viewed it. because of all we have done the risk remains very low. we have the greatest experts in the world, really in the world right here. people that are called upon other countries when things like this happen. we are ready to adapt and do whatever we have to as the
disease spreads, if it spreads, as most of you know, the level that we have had in our country is very low and those people are getting better or we think in almost all cases, we have a total of 15. we took in some from japan. you heard about that. they are american citizens and they are in quarantine and they
are getting better, too. but we thought we had an obligation to do that. we thought there could be as many as 42. and it was just an obligation we felt that we had. we could have left them and that would have been very bad, very bad, american people. and they are recovering. of the 15 people, the organization 15 as i call them, eight of them have returned to their homes to stay in their homes until fully recovered. one is in the hospital and five have fully recovered. and one is we think in pretty good shape and it's in between hospital and going home. we have a total of 15 people and they are in the process of recovering with some already having fully recovered. we started out by looking at certain things. we have been working with the hill, very, very carefully and very strongly and i think we have good bipartisan spirit. we were asking for $2.5 billion and we think that's a lot, but the democrats and i guess senator schumer wants to have much more than that.
and we'll take it. we'll take it. if they want to give more. we'll do more. we will spend more. hopefully we won't spend so much because we have taken it down to a minimum and we have had tremendous success. at the same time, you have outbreaks in some countries, italy and various countries. china, you know about, where it started. and i spoke with president xi and he is working very hard, he is working very, very hard. and if you can count on the reports coming out of china, that spread has gone down quite a bit. the infection has gone down over the last two days as opposed to getting larger. it has gotten smaller and we can be reliable and seems to have gotten quite a bit smaller. with respect to the money that's being negotiated. they can do whatever they want.
we are requesting 2.5. some republicans would like us to get 4 and some democrats would like us to get 8.5 and we will be satisfied. we are bringing in a special lift tomorrow who works at the state department. very, very tremendously talented in doing this. i wanted you to understand something that shocked me and i spoke with dr. fauci on this and i was really amazed and most people amazed. the flu in our country kills from 25,000 people to 69,000 people a year. that was shocking to me. and so far, if you look at what we have with the 15 people and they are recovering, one is pretty sick. but hopefully will recover. but the others are in great shape. think of that 25,000 to 69,000 over the last 10 years and lost 360,000.
these are people that have died from the flu. hey, did you get the flu shot. and that is something. what we have done, we have stopped non-u.s. citizens coming in from china. and we are screening people. screening people coming into the country from infected areas. we have quarantined those infected and those at risk. we have a lot of great quarantined facilities. and the professionals can speak to you. the vaccine is coming along well. and this is something we can develop fairly rapidly a vaccine for the future and coordinate with the support of our partners. we have great relationships with all of the countries that we are
talking about, some fairly large number of countries. some with one person and many countries have no problem whatsoever. and we'll see what happens. but we are very, very ready for this, whether it's going to be a breakout of larger proportions or whether or not we are at that very low level and want to keep it that way. as they get better, we take them off the list and pretty soon be at five people and just one or two people over the next short period of time. we have had very good luck. johns hopkins is highly respected, great place, they did a study, comprehensive, the country's best and worst prepared for an epidemic and the
united states is -- we are rated number one, rated number one for being prepared. this is a list of different countries. i don't want to get in your way especially since you do just a good job. this is a list. the united states is rated number one, most prepared. united kingdom, australia, thailand, finland, sweden. these are the best countries in the world by johns hopkins. we are doing something else that is important to me because he has been terrific and very good on health care and we really followed him very closely, a lot of states do, mike pence, they accomplished great health care and a lot of the other states having looked to and changed their statements and want to base it on the indiana system. and he is very expert in the field. and what i have done, i'm going
to be announcing exactly right now that i'm going to be put our vice president mike pence in charge and mike will be working with the professionals, doctors. the team is brilliant. i spent a lot of time with the team but they are totally brilliant and mike is going to be in charge and mike will report back to me. but he has a certain talent for this and i ask mike pence to say a few words. the vice president: president trump has made clear from the first days of this administration we have no higher priority than the safety, security, health and well-being of the american people. and from the first word of an outbreak of the coronavirus, the president took steps to protect
the american people from the spread of this disease. he encountered those briefly but the travel restrictions and quarantine effort of americans returning, public health emergency and establishing the white house task force are reflective of the urgency that the government has brought to a whole of government approach. as a former governor from the state where the first mers case emerged in 2014. i know full well the importance of presidential leadership and the importance of leadership and the vital role of state and local governments and health thaurts in responding to dangerous infectious diseases and i look forward, mr. president, to serving in this role and in bringing together the members of the corona task force, h.h.s., c.d.c., department of transportation and state. this team has been at your direction, mr. president, meeting every day since it was accomplished.
my role will be to continue bring that team together to bring to the president the best options for action to see to the safety and well-being and health of the american people and we will be continuing to reach out to governors, state and local officials. in fact, in recent days, the white house met with over 40 state, county and health officials in 30 states in how to respond to the potential threat of the coronavirus. we will be working with them in renewed ways to make sure they have the resources to be able to respond and as the president said, we will be adding additional personnel to support
our efforts on the president's behalf and working with members of congress to make sure that the resources are available and we will be working very closely with secretary azar and his team that have done an outstanding job to assure the american people have the best information on ways to protect themselves and their families and the public has the most timely information on the potential threat to the american people. mr. president, as we have been briefed, while the threat to the american public remains low, the spread of the could reasono ha virus, you have directed to take all steps to ensure the health and well-being of the american
people and the american people can be confident under your leadership, we will continue to bring the full resources of the federal government in coordination with our state and local partners to see to the health and well-being and effective response to the coronavirus here in the united states of america. with that, the president has asked me to recognize the secretary of health and human services and the director of health services. >> thank you, mr. president for gathering your public health experts in keeping america safe and i want to safe i couldn't be more delated that you asked my old friend and colleague to lead this approach with us under the emergency function number eight. as of today, we have 18 cases that have been detected in the united states. with only one new case detected in the last two weeks. we have three cases among
americans repatrioted from wuhan and those who have been stuck on the diamond princess in japan. the president's actions have succeeded in buying us invaluable time. this has helped us to contain the virus and prepare for the need we will need to mitigate broader spread of infections. the president's actions with the the scientific advisers have been appropriate and well calibrated. we are grateful to health care workers, first responders, communities have put into the response. because of this hard work and the president's leadership the immediate risk has been and continues to below. at the same time, what every one of our experts have been saying for more than a month now remains true. the degree of risk can change quickly and we can expect to see more cases in the united states.
we have been reminding the american public that they should be aware of what a broader response would look like. c.d.c. has recommended that the american public and state and local governments, businesses and businesses should refresh themselves how they should respond. and encouraging americans to learn what might be necessary to keep themselves in the community safes. this can help the risk to you and your community low. americans can find useful information at cd drnch.gov and working with partners to educate them about preparedness. we have begun working with congress to secure the funding.
there are five major priorities that the white house made on monday. these priorities are first, expanding our surveillance network, second, support for state and government's network, third and fourth, therapeutic vaccines and fifth, protective equipment like gowns and masks. i will be providing updates. we have had our top public health leaders like those joining me today speaking to the public. the trump administration is going to be egress iffle transparent keeping the media apprised of the situation. with that, i'm going to hand it over to the senior career official at the centers for disease control the deputy director with over 30-year career and member of the united states public health corps. >> thank you so much. this has been a difficult and challenging time and our hearts go out to the individuals who
have been directly affected by the virus and to all those who have been working tirelessly in responding to it. our containment strategy here in the united states has been working and responsible for the low level of cases that wetch so far. however, we do expect more cases. and this is a good time to prepare. as you heard, it's the perfect
time for businesses, health care systems, universities and schools to look at their pandemic preparedness plans and dust them off and we have more information on how to do that but it is a good time for the american public to prepare and what it means for you. the coronavirus that we are talking about is a respiratory virus and spread in a similar way to the common cold or to flu. it is spread through coughing and sneezes. those measures we tell people what to do with the flu are important here. covering your cough, staying home when you are sick and washing your hands. tried and true, not very exciting measures, but really
important ways that you can present vent the spread of respiratory viruses. the tra recollect ferject tower of what we are looking at is very uncertain but many of the steps we have taken over the past 15 years to prepare for pandemic influenza and our experience going through reminds us of the health care systems, our communities and schools may need to take. we are in this all together, government and public and private sector and we want to make sure you have the best information available every day. >> i want to give you a very quick update -- my name is dr. tauchy. just a very quick update on the countermeasure in the form of
vackeeps and they are putics. i have told this audience at a recent press briefing, we had a number of candidates and give you a field of the time frame and what its impact might be now and in subsequent years. we would have a vaccine to see if it induces a response that is protective in three months. i think it will be less than that. it will be probably closer to two months and three months to determine if it's safe, which gives us six months. then you graduate from the trial, which is phase one of 45 people to a trial that involves hundreds to not low thousands of people to determine efficacy. at the earliest, it will take six to eight months. although this is the fastest that we have gone from a sequence of a virus to a trial, it mr. williams: not be any applicable to the epidemic unless we wait for a year to a year and a half.
that means two things, the answer to containing public health measures. we cannot rely on a vaccine from the next several months to a year. this virus which we think it will happen will go beyond a season and come back and recycle next year, if that's the case, we hope to have a vaccine. they are putics, there are a number of anti-viral drugs that are being tested. we initiated a randomized control of a drug trial which has invitro in an animal model and if that is true and drug of standard of care, we will know reason apply soon if it works and if it does, we will have an
effective therapy to distribute. >> thank you very much. we know you have come from a long and busy trip to india. greatre you have a medical team behind you that will keep america safe. mr. president, where do we go from here, u.s. and india relations? what is the future? president trump: we won't talk much about that, i just got back, long flight. he's a great gentleman, a great leader.
it's an incredible country. we were treated very, very well. we really enjoyed it. a lot of tremendous progress was made in terms of relationship. our relationship is india is extraordinary right now. we'll be doing a lot of business with india, they're sending billions and billions of dollars to the united states. we'd rather talk about this right now. reporter: the c.d.c. said they believe it's inevitable that the virus will spread to the united states and it's not a matter of if but when. do you agree with that? president trump: i don't believe it's inevitable. it's possible. could be at a smaller level of a larger level. we have the best people in the world. you see that from the study. we have the best prepared people, the best people in the world. congress is willing to give us much more than we're even asking for, that's nice for a change, but we are totally ready, willing and able. that's a term we use.
ready, willing and able. it's going to be very well under control. now it may get a little bigger, may not get bigger at all. regardless of what happens we're totally prepared. reporter: you talked about the travel restrictions from china, at this point has the virus spread -- at this point, the virus has spread from italy, are you going to restrict from those countries? president trump: i'm the president of the united states. i'm not a president of other countries. other countries are very respected for what they do. i want to be responsible for this country. if it means placing a very strong situation on the border so our people can't come in to
our country from a country that is infected, we're doing that we've done that with countries that are affected. i don't think it's right to impose ourselves on others. but if others aren't taking care of, if we think they're doing it incorrectly. we're dealing with world health. c.d.c. does go around and help other countries, give them recommendations of what to do. we're working on our country, they're working on their countries. so far it's worked out well. reporter: are you considering restricting travel to and from south korea, italy and other countries that have been infected? president trump: we may do that, right now it's not the right time. we are checking people as they come through specifically for the problem, the problem we are dealing with. we're checking people as they come -- south korea has been hit hit hard, italy has been hit pretty hard. it's obvious what happened in china. but the numbers are leveling off and going down in china. we'll see what happened.
reporter: why do they deny they're going to run point -- going to have a czar to run the thing. president trump: i'm having everybody report to mike. mike has been very good, very adept, anybody that knows anything about health care they lack at the indiana model and it's been a great success. it's a tremendous model in terms of health care and this is really an offshoot of that. so this isn't a czar. he's part of the administration. but i'm having them report to mike, mike will report to me. they'll also be reporting in some cases to both. i'll be going to meetings quite a bit depending on what they want to do, what message they want to get out. we've done an extraordinary job. when you look at this country this size, with so many people pouring in, we're number one in the world for people coming into a country by far and we have a
total of 15 cases, many of which, within a day i will till you most of whom are fully recovered. i think that's really a pretty impressive mark. now we did take in 40 people that were americans and they are also recovering. but we brought them. in that's a different group. but we felt we had an obligation to american citizens outside of the country that were trying to get back. in we thought that was very important. reporter: the stock market has taken a big hit other the last few days. what can you do about that? and if the c.d.c. is right that the spread is inevitable, will you be dealing with with stock market issues and economy issues? president trump: the stock mark is -- market is something i know a lot about. i think it took a hit two -- hit
for two reasons, one they looked at the people debating last night and said if that's even possible, they took a hit and then this. i think the stock market will recover. the economy is very strong. consumer is the strongest it's ever been. our consumers are incredible. that's why we're doing well and other countries have not even before the virus. other countries have not been doing great. our consumer is very, very strong, powerful economically. reporter: mr. president. have you been thinking about any plan that would quarantine cities like they did in china, what would have to happen for that? president trump: we do have plans, we're working with virtually every state. we do have plans on a larger scale. we don't think we're going to need it. but you have to be prepared. again, congress is talking to us about funding. we're getting far more than what we asked for. i guess the best thing to do is take it. we'll take it. reporter: how much money are you willing to give congress?
pres. trump: we have to see. but we'll give money to states. we have hospitals in states that are making rooms available, they're building quarantine areas to keep people safely. we're working really well with states, that's a big part of it. my attitude if congress wants to give us the money so easy, wasn't easy for the wall but we got that one done. they want to give us the money, we'll take the money. we'll just do a good job with it. reporter: mr. president, should americans be going out and getting protective equipment such as masks and so forth and if so, what is the u.s. doing to boost production of masks. president trump: we can get a lot of it, ordered a lot of it in case we need it.
we may not need it. but we're looking at worst case scenario we're going to be set very quickly. i don't think we'll ever be anywhere near that i don't believe we'll be anywhere near that our borders are very controlled. our flights in from certain areas are very controlled. i don't think we'll ever be anywhere near that reporter: back to the stock market, travel related stocks have especially been hammered the last couple of days. what would you say to americans out there who are looking forward to the summer, the upcoming months and saying to themselves, should i make my summer plans? should i travel abroad? president trump: hopefully they'll be able to do that we think, we hope it'll be in good shape by that time. you know, they're going to have to remain a little flexible. travel-related companies certainly right now that would be -- they would be hurt. at the same time, this ends. this is going to end. hopefully sooner rather than later. i think the business affected most will be picked up at a later date. right now i think they're probably not going to be going to china. not going to certain countries where the problem is far greater than it is in the united states. what it's going to do is keep people home. they're going to travel to places that we have. we have the greatest -- it's the greatest tourism country in the world. instead of leaving our country and leaving our shores they'll stay here. when you have 15 people and the
15 within a couple of days is going to be down to close to zero, that's a pretty good job we've done. >> what is your response to speaker pelosi saying earlier today that you don't know what you're talking about with the coronavirus and do you want to address critics? president trump: i think speaker pelosi is incompetent. she lost the congress once, she's going to lose it again. she boosted my poll numbers up 10 point, i never thought i'd see that. we're leading everybody, don't want to do it that way, it's almost unfair. but i think she's incompetent and not thinking about the country.
instead of making a state pt like that where i've been beating her routinely at everything, she should be say, we need to work together because we have a big problem potentially, i hope it's going to be a very little problem. we have to work together. instead she wants to do the same thing as schumer, the president only asked for $2.5 billion, he should have $8 billion. this is the first time i've been told to take more. we should be working together. he shouldn't be making statements like that because it's so bad for the country. nancy pelosi, she should go back to her district and clean it up. it's the number one, you look at percentage down, that was one of the finest in the world now look at what's happening. i'm just say, we should all be working together. she's trying to create a panic. and there's no reason to panic. because we have done so good. these professionals behind me and over here and over there and back here and some conference rooms i just left, a group of 45 people that are the most talented people in the world. parts of the world are asking us in a very nice way can they partake an help them.
so nancy pelosi should -- she knows. all they're trying to do is get a political advantage. this isn't about political advantage. we're all trying to do the right thing. they shouldn't be saying this is terrible. president trump isn't asking for enough money. how stupid a thing to say. if they want to give us more money that's ok, we'll take more money. some republicans think we should have more money too. that's ok, we'll take more money. but they shouldn't demean the people in the united states, they're the finest in the world. they're not demeaning me, they're demeaning the greatest health care professionals in the world and people who do exactly what we're talking about.
reporter: your campaign today sued the new york times for an opinion. is it your contention that if people have an opinion contrary to yours they should be sued? president trump: if they're completely wrong. but let's see, let's work it through the courts. that's something much more than an opinion. they did a bad thing. there'll be more coming. reporter: do you expect the tokyo olympics to happen? president trump: i hope. so i like shinzo, a good friend of mine. you have a number of people in japan that have been infected. i hear they're doing a very good job. i think they're going to handle it very well. it's a little tight. they spent billions of dollars building one of the most beautiful venues i've ever seen
and your prime minister is very proud of it. i hope it's going to be fine. we hope it will. reporter: thank you very much, mr. president. the doctor at c.d.c. talked about dusting off preparedness plans. coming from you it has more weight. do you feel like u.s. schools should be preparing for a coronavirus threat? president trump: i would think so, yes. i haven't spoken specifically about that with the various doctors but i would think so, yes. every aspect of our society should be prepared. i don't think it's going to come to that, especially with the
fact that we're going down, not up. we're going very substantially down, not up. i think schools should be preparing. get ready just in case. the words are just in case. we don't think we'll be there, don't think we'll be anywhere close. but some countries are starting to go in the other direction. this will end. this will end. you look at flu season, i said 26,000 people, i never heard of a number like that. 26,000 people going up to 69,000 people, 69,000 people die every year from -- from the flu. think of that it's incredible. so far, the results of all of this that everybody is reading about, and part of the thing is you want to keep it the way it is. you don't want to see panic. because there's no reason to be panicked about. but when i mentioned the flu i said, actually, i asked the very doctors, is this like flu? because people die from the flu. and this is very unusual. and it is a little bit different but in some ways it's easier, in some ways it's a little tougher. but we have it so well under control, we really have done a very good job. go ahead. reporter: thank you, mr. president. you mentioned the stock mark, to go back to that to be clear the dow jones dropped more than 2,000 point this is week have you suggest that was overblown?
are financial markets overreacting? president trump: i think the financial markets are upset when they look at the democrat candidates standing on that stage making fools out of themselves and they say, if we have to have a president like this and there's always a possibility, it's an election, you know who knows what happens, i think we're going to win, i think we'll win by a lot. but when they look at the statements made by the people standing behind those podiums, i think that is a huge effect. reporter: so it doesn't have to do with the coronavirus? president trump: i think it did. but they're seeing the potential, again, i think we're going to win, i feel very confident of it. we've done everything and much more than i said we were going to do look at what we've done. what we've done is incredible with the tax cuts and regulation cuts and rebuilding our military, taking care of vets, getting them choice and
accountability. all of the things we have done, protecting our second amendment. the second amendment, they're going to destroy the second amendment. people look at that, they say, this is not good. so you add that in. i really believe that's a factor. but no, this is -- what we're talking about is the virus. that's what we're talking about. i do believe in terms of cnbc and fox business, i think -- i do believe that's a factor. i think after i win the election i think he stock market will boom like it's never boomed before. just like it did, by the way, after i won the last election. the stock market the day after went up like a rocket ship. >> at what point would you be considering loosening the travel restrictions? president trump: when we're at a point where we we don't have a problem. we're not going to loose then travel restribses. had i mot made -- mike alluded to it. had i not made a decision early on to not take people from a certain area, we would not be talking this way, i took a lot of heat. some people called me racist because i made a decision so early. and we had never done that as a country before, let alone early.
so it was a bold decision. it turned out to be a good decision. but i was criticized by the democrats. they called me racist because i made that decision if you can believe that. we have to all work together. we can't say bad things and especially when we have the best team anywhere in the world and we really gave it an early start. we gave it a very early start. reporter: the system called for cuts to the c.d.c., we heard a lot today about how these officials are excellent. did this give you pause? president trump: no, we can get money and increase staff, we know all the good people. a question i asked the doctors before, some of the people we cut they haven't been used for many, many years. if we ever need them we can get them very quickly. rather than spending the money, and i'm a businessperson. i don't like having thousands of people around when you don't need them. when we need them we can get them back very quickly. for instance we're bringing some people in tomorrow that are already in this great government that we have.
very specifically for this. we can build up very, very quickly and we've already done that we have built up. we have a great staff. using mike, i'm doing that because east in the administration. and he's very good at doing what he does. and doing as it relates to this. reporter: so far they're only testing less than 500 people an health officials are questioning whether that's enough compared to other countries who have tested tens of thousands of people. are you planning to test more people? president trump: we're testing everybody that we need to test. we're find very little problem. very little problem. now, you treat this like a flu. in fact, i might ask one of the doctors to come up and explain it, you want to wash your hands a lot, want to say, if you're not feeling well if you feel you have a flu, stay inside. quarantine yourself. don't go outside. but there are certain steps that you can take that we won't even be necessary. in many cases, when you catch this, it's very light, you don't know there's a problem. sometimes they just get the sniffles.
sometimes they just get something where they're not feeling quite right. and sometimes they feel really bad. but that's a little bit like the flu. it's a little like the regular flu that we have flu shots for. and we'll essentially have a flu shot for this in a fairy quick manner. >> two weeks ago, mr. president. your acting o.m.b. director was in this room talking about this coming year, g.d.p. growth, 3%. we talked about the effects of coronavirus on the supply chain and declines in the financial market. are you still going to see that kind of economic growth? president trump: we have tremendously low unemployment. it's the lowest average unemployment of any administration in history. our numbers are very good. 3.5%, 3.6%.
but you can't see what this does in terms of g.d.p. it could affect it. but that's irrelevant compared to what we're talking about. we want to make sure it's safe. this would have, you know, an impact on g.d.p. but we're still very, very -- we're doing great. this, just like boeing has a big impact, a year ago, all of a sudden that happened. i think that took away a half point to a point. it's a massive company. boeing, we had the general motors strike that was a big impact on g.d.p. and of course we're paying interest rates. i disagree with the fed. i'm not happy with what that is because he's kept interest rates, president obama didn't have near the numbers and yet if you look at what happened he was paying zero. we're paying interest. now it's more conservative and frankly people that put their money away are getting return on their money as opposed to not getting anything. but i think we're the greatest
of them all, we should be paying the lowest interest rates. when germany and other countries are paying negative rates, mean tharge getting paid to put out money. they borrow money and get paid. when it gets paid back. whoever heard of this before? we don't do that i disagree with our fed. i think our fed has made a terrible mistake and it would have made a big difference, as good as we have done, even without the 2,000 point we started off at 16,000 and we'll be at 28,000, we're going to crack 30,000, we have had increases like nobody has seen before. but we're doing well. but we have to watch -- in other words, even despite the ,000 point, sounds like a lot but it's nothing, very little compared to what we've gone up. but we'll be watching it very closely. we have been hurt by general motors and boeing, we've been hurt in my opinion very badly by our own federal reserve who has
also created a very strong dollar. something nice about a strong dollar but it makes it harder to do business outside of this country. reporter: a number of your supporters online have embraced the series that c.d.c. may be exaggerating coronavirus to hurt you politically. rush limbaugh said it's weaponized against you. president trump: you don't mean my supporters, you mean people against me. i'd like it to stop. i think people know that when chuck schumer getsup set, he said the same thing with a couple of trade deal, phenomenal deals now, people acknowledge it, before we saw the deal, he said i don't like it, i don't like it. he talked about tariffs. i left the tariffs on, 25%, $250 billion. he said he took the tariffs hasme didn't even know the deal. he was out there knocking it.
because that's a natural thing to say. but when you're talking about especially something like this, we have to be on the same team. this is too important. we have to be on the same team. reporter: do you think the c.d.c. is trying to hurt you? president trump: no, they've been working really well together. they really are. they're professional. i think they're beyond this. they want this to go away and with as little disruption, they don't want to lose life. i see the way they're working, these people bind me and others in the other room. they're incredible people. i don't see that at all. reporter: thank you, mr. president. president trump: thank you very much. reporter: thank you, mr. president. tonight you're minimizing the danger of the virus. are you telling the americans except for the ones who are sick not to change any of their behaviors? president trump: i think you have to always -- i do it a lot
anyway as you probably heard, wash your hands. stay clean. you don't have to necessarily grab every handrail unless you have to. you know. you do certain things that you do when you have the flu. treat it the same as the flu. when somebody sneezes, i try to bail out as much as possible with the sneezing. had a man come up to me a week ago, i hadn't seen him in a long time, and i said how you doing? he said fine, fine. he hugs me. i said are you well? he said no. he said, i have the worst fever and the worst flu. an he's hugging and kissing me. i said excuse me. i went and started washing my hands. you have to do that. you know.
don't ruin it with a bad question. [laughter] reporter: i want to talk to you about 2014. you said you wanted to quote-unquote full travel ban you said oba maws was a quote-unquote stubborn goat for not doing it. just stop the flights, dummy. you also said it was not good to appoint someone with no medical experience. how does that square with what you are doing now? president trump: this is a much different problem than ebola. ebola, you disintegrated at the beginning. they've made a lot of progress. but you got ebola, that was it. this one is different. much different. this is a flu. this is like a flu. and this is a much different situation than ebola. we're working on ebola right now, we're working on certain areas of the congo, certain areas of the congo have ebola. largely because they have war and people can't get there we
can treat ibo lasm at that time you couldn't treat it. nobody had heard about it. it's a much different situation. reporter: in just the course of the last couple of minutes you have disputed some of what the officials that are working in your administration mind you have said about the risk of coronavirus and its spread. do you trust your officials to give you information of do your trust your instincts. president trump: they said it could be worse, i said it could be worse. i don't think it's inevitable. i think we're doing a good job in terms of maintaining borders, in terms of letting people, in in terms of checking people. and also that's one of the reasons i'm here today getting the word out. so people can -- they'll know. i don't think it's inevitable. i think that there's a chance it could get worse. there's a chance it would get fairly substantially worse. but nothing is inevitable. reporter: mr. president, brazil
has its first case. president trump: that's right, brazil. reporter: and you have many americans now in brazil for carnivale. what are your concerns? what are the procedures and practices you plan to implement as those americans try to come back home? president trump: we've gotten strong on people coming in from brazil. it's a big country but only has one case. still, it's a case. we deal with brazil very well. the president is a very good friend of mine. he ran on exactly, make brazil great again. we get along well, i know you're thrilled to hear that we get along very, very well. we're working with brazil. we have much worse instances than brazil. you have other countries where they have much more -- they have one person right now, as of now, just a little while ago, one person in brazil. italy is, you know, a deeper problem. and we're checking people coming in very, very strongly from those.
and at some point we may cut that off. at some point, depending on what happens, we may cut certain additional countries off like we've had to do with china. we hope we can open it up to china as soon as possible and we hope the numbers we've been get, we hope the numbers we have been getting are true on china. where it really has leveled off and started to go down. eventually sometime that's going to happen. go ahead. reporter: you said repeatedly that you think the federal government is very prepared, you're ready for this. if you think secretary azar is doing such a great job, why did you feel the need to make a change and put vice president mike pence in charge of the federal response to the virus? president trump: i think secretary azar is doing a fantastic job but he has many other things, we're working on many, many things together. if you look at his schedule of what he's doing, including drug prices, i think it's perhaps the most corm kated job that we have in government. i want him to be able to focus on that and mike is really good at it. they're going to work together.
they're going to work very closely together. they're both in the administration. i see them all the time. it really works. this isn't a czar. this isn't going out and getting somebody that's never been in the administration. i have a few people who are very talented and it's something i feel good about. i don't want to scare the horses. i have very talented people. i want to use them on this. i want it to stay low or as low as possible. reporter: thank you, mr. president. china. at the beginning of this outbreak, the chinese communist party covered it up. that's been the general consensus of everyone. how can you now legitimately trust president xi and the communist party to be forthcoming and forthright with information? president trump: i speak to him, talked with him recently, he is working so hard on this problem. he is working so hard. and they're very tough and very smart and it's a significant group, a very -- group of very talented people. they're calling up dr. fauci, calling up our people, we're dealing with them, giving them
certain advice. we have, through world health we we have the world healtho and we organization over there also and a lot of people. it would be easy for me to say it doesn't matter, that i can tell you he is working. hard and heg really wants it away from china and to get back to business as usual. the flu has a fatality ratio of .1%. this has a fatality ratio of summer between two and 3%. the flu is much higher than that >> this is going to spread within communities.
does that worry you? >> it is what it is. we are ready for it. as i've said, we have the greatest people in the world. there is a chance that it won't spread and there's a chance that it will and it's a question of at what level. when you have 15 people from the whole world coming in and they are better or close to being better, that's pretty good. we will do one more. >> there have been many cases of price gouging on the sales of medical equipment. should the government looking into it? >> we should definitely investigate. we don't want that. are you working with china and in what areas?
>> we have just done the biggest trade deal in history. between the usmca and the china deal, it's the biggest in history. president xiu that is working really hard. thank you. i will leave you behind you can answer a few more questions. [crosstalk] >> if i could just clarify i think you are not getting the point. i am still chair of the task force and mick mulvaney has been serving and in value, helping me
coordinate with colleagues and the whole approach. this gives me the biggest stick one could have. >> you don't feel you are being replaced? .> not in the least i was delighted to have the president -- vice president helping me in this way. i have testified for hours today at three hearings. [crosstalk] >> c-span's washington journal, live every day with news and
policy issues that impact you. aming up thursday morning, democratic congresswoman discusses the u.s. and global response to the coronavirus outbreak. then, warren davidson will join us to talk about his proposal to reform government surveillance programs. and candidate and author neil simon discusses his book. be sure to watch c-span's washington journal live at 7 a.m. eastern. join the discussion. >> on c-span, a housemates at 10 a.m. eastern for general speeches and legislative business at noon. ban an agenda that would all flavored tobacco products.
then, the senators back to consider a judicial nomination for u.s. tax court. a.m., betsyt 10:00 devos is back on capitol hill testifying on the budget request for her department. and in the afternoon, robert redfield appears before a house foreign affairs committee with state department officials talking about the response to .he coronavirus outbreak >> health and human services secretary alex a's are as been on capitol hill this week answering questions from lawmakers. abouts hearing, he spoke the federal government response to the outbreak while also testifying on his budget request.